May Recap

Here we are at the end of another month. It is time for the next installment of the monthly running recap!


Total running: 312.45 miles.

Workouts: I was much more consistent with the workouts this month, which I am very pleased with. Below are the workouts that I did:

10 miles easy + 2 mile pick up (6:53, 6:49)

2 mi. WU, 10 X 800 (3:02, 2:59, 3:00, 3:02, 3:05, 2:59, 3:05, 3:01, 3:04, 2:58), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 5 mi. progression tempo (6:58, 6:49, 6:35, 6:27, 6:18), 1 mi. CD

10 miles w/ 10 X 30 second hill pickups

2 mi. WU + 10 mile brisk pace run (7:09, 7:16, 7:11, 7:13, 7:22, 7:04, 7:31, 7:23, 7:24, 7:04)

Races: 1 or 3, depending on whether we count Ragnar TN as one race or if we count each leg as a separate race. Let’s go with the latter! Here is my Race Recap: Ragnar TN “Last to Start, First to Finish”.

Favorite race: Since we decided that I have 3 “races” to choose from for this … I’m going to go with my first leg of the relay, which was 10.20 miles with over 1,100 ft. of elevation gain. It was one of the most challenging legs that I have ever run and I even got a separate medal for running it. I thought that was pretty cool! The medal on the right (the orange one) is the extra medal that I got and the one on the left (the blue one) is the medal that we all got.


Longest run: 20 miles (already ramping up for the 50K)!

Shortest run: 1 mile. So … I hardly ever run anything much under 3 miles and this run was not purposefully 1 mile. Rebecca and I were planning to run 8 (ish) miles this day, but when she got there we realized that the stroller had a tire that was completely flat. We walked over to a gas station that was close by and aired it up, but there was a big leak and so the tire just wouldn’t hold the air.

Someone at the gas station tried to help us by giving us some fix-a-flat. We thought that was going to be the solution and the tire held air for a little bit. Actually it held it for 1 mile (hence the distance of the run). We had to walk it back after that and we ultimately decided to just call it a day and get breakfast instead. We had a wonderful breakfast at Warehouse! It might have even been more fun than running!

We both got the Baja breakfast bowl. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after seeing other people order this previously, I wanted to give it a try. It has roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, kale, eggs, avocado and salsa. You can also add shrimp, snapper, pork or bacon. Definitely not your typical breakfasty meal, but it was so good!


Favorite run: Most of you probably know this, but I very rarely run by myself. I ventured out by myself a couple of times this month and I actually really enjoyed it. If I go alone, I go during a busy time of day when there is a lot of traffic out and I run with my phone and my stun gun. I put my phone in a running belt (so basically a glorified fanny pack) and I just carry the stun gun.


I’m not making this a regular thing by any means (I love running with friends too much), but it’s been surprisingly nice and has been a confidence boost for me to get out there and enjoy a run or two by myself and feel comfortable.

Rest days: 3

Other: I’m so excited that I finally have something to report here! I went paddle boarding a few times, rode my bike once (while Daniel ran) and even did a better job with adding some strength training into my regular routine. I’m definitely planning to ramp that up even more in June. Daniel and I have started our PFT training, so we will be doing that Monday, Wednesday and Friday and on Tuesday and Thursday I am doing some drills and strength exercises that my coach suggested.

What’s next: 50K training will continue in full force in June. The Hot Trot 5K is coming up in a few weeks! That’s the only official race I’m planning to do in June, but I’m also planning to participate in the summer track series for Rebecca’s cross country team. Those meets will be on Thursday evenings, so that will give me a chance to add some speed work back into the mix.

The state tennis tournament for my 4.5 USTA League is also coming up at the end of June. I don’t know how much I will actually be playing at state, but I am definitely planning to practice some in between now and then.

Did you know that tomorrow is Global Running Day?!

Global Running Day is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. Participation is easy! Go here –> and make a pledge to take part in some type of running activity on June 1, 2016. It can be a solo lap around the block, a long run with friends, or even a game of tag with your kids. The key is to share your passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving.

How do you plan to celebrate?


Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful, fun and relaxing weekend! I know we sure have. I started the weekend off with a brisk pace run Saturday morning.

Isn’t that sunrise beautiful?!

What is a brisk pace run you ask? Good question. The “Brisk Pace Run” is a run that my coach likes to use to increase energy usage efficiency. The run is 60 to 90 minutes at close to marathon pace (you should stay within a range of 80 to 85% of your maximum heart rate). You use the first two miles to warm up and slowly ease into the brisk pace range and then you stay in that range for the remainder of the run. The focus is to stay as relaxed and smooth as possible in this pace range, which will help you to become more efficient using energy within that range.

With all of this in mind, I tried to prepare myself mentally that the run wasn’t going to be *that* difficult. Daniel and I met Kenny and Bowie at Warehouse Saturday morning and I was fully prepared to tackle this run by myself. I knew that the guys would keep me in sight, but I didn’t think that any of them would want to join me for the workout. Thankfully Bowie decided that he would run with me and I was so thankful! It helps to have a buddy when you are doing a workout.

We started off with a 2 mile warm up and then we started the brisk pace portion. The target pace for the workout was 6:45 to 7:00 pace, but we ended up averaging 7:15. I think that 7:15 is probably pretty representative of my marathon pace based on my current fitness. 6:45 is closer to where I *want* to be, but I’m going to have to put in some work to get there. We are also getting into the summer heat and humidity, which means that it is somewhat inevitable that the paces will be a little bit slower than normal.

My average heart rate for the run was 174. I think this is fairly close to 80 to 85% of my maximum heart rate, so effort wise I was right where I needed to be.

After our run, Daniel and I took the paddle boards out for a little bit and let Brooks get his favorite exercise in. He loves to swim! His workout basically consists of 100m repeats fetching his toy and occasionally a rest interval on the paddle board with us.


My boys ❤

We all enjoyed getting some bay time in. It’s our favorite.

Saturday afternoon we went to a crawfish boil for Keith’s birthday (Rebecca’s husband). Rebecca got Daniel to build a crawfish table for Keith for his birthday present. Daniel really enjoys making things, so he was happy to have a project to work on.

Here is what it looks like pre-crawfish. It has drink holders, paper towel holders and a bucket in the center (that you place on a trash can).

It was definitely put to good use. Those little guys were super duper spicy!

Rebecca and I had a long run to tend to Sunday morning. We met at 5 a.m. in hopes of getting most of the run knocked out before it got too hot. We ended up doing a little less than we planned to do, but we still got a solid 16 miles in.

Post-run we headed to coffee loft to drink all the drinks. Proper rehydration starts with coffee and includes lots of water and Nuun, with an occasional Diet Coke or smoothie thrown in there. Speaking of hydration and nutrition, I’m almost done with the Food Guide for Marathoners book that I’ve been reading. It has been super easy to read and has lots of helpful tips. I’m planning to do a review of that soon.

Rebecca and I were actually supposed to do 22 miles Sunday, but we were both riding the struggle bus (well … mainly I was). Hello summer heat and humidity! Long runs in the summer can get pretty tough around here. We made a negotiation with ourselves that instead of doing 22 Sunday and 10 Monday (which is what her schedule called for), we would do 16 both days and end up with the same result. She is training for a 50 mile race and so the back-to-back long runs are a big part of the training.

We had a pretty big group (10) that met today to run, since most of us are off work for the holiday. Rebecca and I got started before the group and knocked out 10 of our miles and then met the group at 6 to finish up our last 6. We rode the struggle bus again today (mainly her this time), but we got it in! Boom. We have been running together for a while now and goodness knows we have had some really good runs and some really bad runs. We stick together through it all and that’s all you can really ask for!

Daniel has randomly started training for the Army Physical Fitness Test (PFT). By randomly I mean that one of his buddies is in the Army and posted his score on social media, and Daniel decided to see if he could beat it. Competitive much? You bet.

Long story short, we are now both training for it. Again … competitive much? We aren’t competing with each other specifically though, we are just supporting each other by participating in the same activities. It’s a delicate balance that we’ve established. It works for us.

The test is designed to test muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness. You are scored based on three events: push-ups, sit-ups and a two mile run. You do two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and follow that with a two mile run. The scoring is based on gender, age, number of repetitions performed of the push-up and sit-up, and run time. The score for each event ranges from 0 to 100 points and you can earn over 300 only if you “max out” all three events.

In order to max out the push-ups, I have to do 50 and Daniel has to do 77 (based on our age and gender). In order to max out the sit-ups, we both have to do 82. In order to max out the run, I have to do two miles in under 15:48 and Daniel has to go under 13:18. We are both good to go on the run portion, but the push-ups and sit-ups are going to take some work. We both did a time trial this week to see where we are now and we are going to train specifically for the push-ups and sit-ups over the next 6 to 8 weeks and we will take the test again and see how much we are able to improve.

We both actually did better than we were expecting up front. I thought that the push-ups were going to be my weakest area by far, but as it turns out, the sit-ups were what got me. You have to be really fast with those bad boys. I did 57 and I need 82. Here is my score:

I didn’t do the two mile run part. We just put in an estimate for that. I know that I can do it faster than 15 minutes, so I would get 100 points for that regardless. The only time it would make a difference is if I am able to max out each thing and then I could maybe get additional points.

Daniel did really good with the push-ups, but the sit-ups got him as well. He did actually do the two mile run as part of his time trial. He said that his arms felt like lead during the run.


After our run this morning, we started our first day of training.

We are going to start this week doing alternating 30 seconds of push-ups and 30 seconds of sit-ups with a 30 second rest in between each set. We will do 4 sets of each and we are going to do this three times per week. I think that the core strength will be pretty beneficial to our running and if not, oh well. It’ll be fun to do something different!

Side note: my arms are currently more sore than they have been in a really long time (possibly ever). Those push-ups are no joke!

We finished up our day with some grilling. We grilled salmon burgers and kabobs to have tonight and also grilled some chicken and steak to have for dinner the rest of the week. That’s some quality adulting right there. We do a much better job of eating quality meals (read: not cereal) for dinner if we prepare it ahead of time.


That’s all I’ve got for today. See you soon!

Good Stuff

Hello! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Our friend is back!

I’ve got some good news to share today! I passed the RRCA exam and got CPR & First Aid certified this week, so I am officially a certified coach. I’m pretty stoked about that!

I had to attend an in-person, hands-on CPR class, which was interesting. I definitely learned a lot, and I am glad that I was basically forced to do this. I was never a lifeguard or anything like that and Daniel can tell you, I tend to stay as far away as possible from anything remotely related to the medical field. Let’s just say that I was very unaware and uneducated prior to the class. Now I at least feel like I could do chest compressions reasonably well and hopefully keep someone alive until the paramedics arrive.

Side note: I’ve heard that they typically teach you to do compressions (100 – 120 per minute) to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive,” but in our class the song that was used was “Another One Bites the Dust.” Isn’t that just wrong?! Haha.


Kind of creepy …

More really good news is that Dr. Justin “released” me from the plantar fasciitis treatment that I have been getting once a week for what feels like several months. I have nothing to gauge the severity of mine verses someone else’s, but I’m fairly sure I had a pretty bad case of it.

I was able to continue to train throughout the treatment and it still got better! It took a little while, but that’s to be expected when you are dealing with an issue as stubborn as plantar fasciitis (and even more expected when you are dealing with a runner as stubborn as me). I am so thankful to be able to run and walk without pain!

Speaking of running without pain, here is what my running has looked like this week:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Easy 8 + Easy 6
Wednesday: 10 miles with 10 X 30 second pickups + Easy 5 w/ Rebecca and Lizzie that evening
Thursday: Easy 5
Friday: Easy 6

I’m so excited to have an extra long weekend without any major plans to speak of. I am off work today and Monday. Today I have been reading, blogging, hanging out with Brookser and I got to have lunch with Daniel. I was going to apologize for the lack of makeup and the unfixed hair in the picture below, but that is pretty much what I look like 99% of the time … so no apologies. It is what it is.


What are your Memorial Day weekend plans?

I’ve got a brisk paced run and a long run on tap this weekend and we are going to a crawfish boil tomorrow, but other than that we don’t have much going on and I’m not sad about it.


Hey guys! It’s been a hot minute since my last post. I was kind of joking about the after effects of our race last week, but as it turns out, there was more to that than I realized.

I ended up getting sick last week. Nothing major (just a cold and/or sinus issues), but I just didn’t feel like myself. I don’t know about you guys, but I really don’t like feeling off. It’s almost like I feel guilty for even saying that I was sick, because it really wasn’t that bad. I know that other people are dealing with major issues and that my “sickness” pales in comparison.

I think that I jumped back into some workouts a little bit too quickly. I tried to do a 5 mile tempo run towards the end of the week last week and that pretty much did me in (when it really shouldn’t have). As I thought more about it, I realized that I basically ran a marathon (and a very hilly one at that) during the relay, so it is pretty understandable that my legs and body would still be a little fatigued. I think the workout just postponed my recovery. Stubbornness can get the best of me sometimes.

What I wasn’t really expecting after the relay was the mental fatigue. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I definitely think that there is something psychologically challenging about the post-race time period and it’s almost as if the higher your emotions soar during the race, the lower you tend to feel afterward.

Jack Lesyk, Ph.D., a clinical and sports psychologist, says it this way, “We have been taught that the attainment of the goal is the reward. Now the goal is attained and you are puzzled by your unanticipated unhappiness. The goal has turned out to be an illusion. The joy was in the dream and the process of moving towards your goal, in mobilizing your physical and mental potentials to their fullest. Once the goal was accomplished, the dream died. The joy ended. And now it’s time to regroup and start over again.”

I didn’t do a lot of training specifically for the relay, but there was definitely a lot of planning and hype surrounding the relay and the relay itself was basically the conclusion of a very busy (and fun) spring racing season. I ran a lot of races this spring and I absolutely loved it! I love races and pushing myself to be the best me that I can be. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately (depending on how you want to look at it)), there aren’t very many races during the summer in lower Alabama.

There will probably be a few 5Ks here and there, but nothing major. My training this summer will be mainly focused on 50K. I’d also like to do a late fall or early winter marathon, but we’ll see about that. I don’t have anything planned yet. I’m going to try to consistently document my training for the 50K over the course of the next few months. It’s already starting to ramp up!

I also had several fun trips right after tax season this year (AL –> FL –> AL –> SC –> AL –> TN –> AL). It’s been go, go, go. While I kind of prefer it that way (sometimes at least), I do at least recognize that I am ready for some downtime. We don’t have any major plans for the rest of the summer and thankfully my summer schedule at work is pretty flexible, so there is definitely some downtime in my future.

Something else that has been wearing on me a little bit is that I’ve been letting other people’s struggles bring me down. I have tried to be a good friend and be helpful in a situation where I thought I was being called to help. I think I probably just need to continue to pray for guidance and wisdom regarding that.

Enter –> The Serenity Prayer. Although the prayer itself has become somewhat culturalized at this point (hence the Seinfeld reference in the title … did you catch that), it is still so refreshingly simple and profound that it is just plain powerful. It is commonly used as part of 12 step programs and I think I was first introduced to during college when I spent some time at an inpatient eating disorder treatment center. I learned some invaluable life lessons during that time and every now and then things that I learned there will pop into my brain (and thus onto the blog).

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

I found an awesome Huffington Post article about the timeless truths of the Serenity Prayer and I am going to share them below.

When we devote inordinate attention to the things we cannot change, we expend physical, emotional and mental energy that could be directed elsewhere. Accepting that there are some things we cannot change does not make us complacent. It constitutes a leap of faith — an ability to trust, as the prayer goes on to say, “that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will.” We thus make the choice to let go and have faith in the outcome.

One of life’s greatest challenges is imagining how our lives could be different than they are now. Often, our deeply-ingrained habits are our own worst enemies, and simply identifying them is half the battle. Since habits gain power through repetition, it takes real focus and perspective to take a look at ourselves and our habits and ask, “Is this how I really want to live?”

We must accept “hardships as the pathway to peace.” Every person confronts obstacles in the course of his or her life. When we view these obstacles not just as frustrations or failures, but as opportunities for growth and learning, we can transcend our circumstances.

The word “surrender” has mostly negative connotations; we associate it with resignation, failure and weakness. But the Serenity Prayer reframes the notion of surrender as an act of faith and trust.

The prayer’s ending has something very profound to say about happiness: if we follow the prayer’s advice, we may be “reasonably happy in this life.” Just reasonably? At a time when our culture measures happiness and success mostly in terms of money and power, that word “reasonably” stands out as an appealingly modest definition of a successful life. Rather than wondering why we aren’t happier, or picking through every minute aspect of our lives, the prayer asks us to focus on the present, “Living one day at a time” and “enjoying one moment at a time.”

That’s all I’ve got for today. No fun stories or pictures, etc. Just wanted to share a few things that have been on my heart and mind.

I hope y’all are having a good week!



Ragnar Recovery

Hello friends!

I’ve been trying to settle back into some sort of normal schedule post-Ragnar and it’s been a little tough. I haven’t been able to drag myself out of bed in the morning to run and all I want to do is sleep! I was a little bit worried that I was getting sick.

Brooks wanted to participate, so I told him to demonstrate my current state of existence.

Thankfully Google was able to diagnose me. It appears that I might be suffering from ragnover.


My symptoms include:

  • Sleepiness. The struggle. Is real.
  • Confusion. I keep waking up in a panic, feeling very discombobulated and thinking that I am supposed to be somewhere running.
  • Catawampus pains. My entire lower left side (think quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, etc.) is so sore, but the right side is totally fine. I’m thinking this has something to do with running on the slanted shoulder of the road for 23 miles.
  • Overwhelming desire to pass other runners and/or break out into a little dance while running when you do in fact drag yourself out there to get a run in. There is a little glimmer of hope with every passing car that your van is coming to support you!
  • Misconception as to when baby wipes are actually an acceptable replacement for a shower.

Here are some things that are going to help me recover:

  • Sleep (duh).
  • Hydrate and refuel.

  • I went to see Dr. Justin (my sports chiro) and he got me back in line (at least physically). I’ll have to see someone else for my mental alignment.
  • Take it easy. Take a few days and just run nice and easy, or even take a day off if needed! I enjoyed a nice little run/walk with Rebecca and Savannah yesterday evening.

  • Sign up for another race! Hood to Coast 2017?! Who’s with me? I’m just joking (kind of). I’m ready for the next one for realz though.  

That’s about it for my recovery I do believe. I have successfully procrastinated the tempo run that I was supposed to do yesterday, which means that I will be doing that this evening (not super likely) or tomorrow morning (more likely).

Does anyone have exciting plans for the weekend?

Race Recap: Ragnar TN “Last to Start, First to Finish”

I don’t know that words will even be able to do this recap justice. We had an absolutely amazing trip to TN and the race itself was just icing on the cake!

There is a lot of planning that goes into an event like this and getting a team together. We had to rent vans, get places to stay at the start, along the way and at the finish, and gather 12 people who were crazy enough to want to join in on the adventure.

We assembled a killer team, some of whom we knew really well and some of whom we had only met a few times, and headed to TN with a pretty lofty goal. Simply stated, we wanted to bring home the win. This was my third overnight relay type of event. In 2011 we did Ragnar Del Sol in Arizona and came in 2nd place and in 2014 we did Ragnar Northwest Passage in Washington and came in 4th place. It was time to bring home the gold.

Our team ran the 189.10 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville in 21:12:08. We were the last team to start the race. We passed every other team along the course and not only won the race, but crossed the finish line first!


Thursday morning we got our rental van, loaded everyone up and headed to Chattanooga.


We had two groups that traveled up, one left early (that was my group) and one left after work. We had several hotel rooms in Chattanooga, where we stayed Thursday night before the race. We got to Chatanooga around 6 p.m. or so, settled into our rooms (which were surprisingly nice and very large) and headed to dinner.


We tried to hit the hay pretty early Thursday night, as this would be our last night of real sleep for close to 48 hours. The van that left after work didn’t exactly have this luxury, but they were all troopers.

Saturday morning a few of us got up and did an easy 20 minute shakeout run before breakfast. Some of us wouldn’t be running until really late that afternoon, so it was nice to stretch our legs out after sitting in the van all day the day before. We did just over 2.5 miles and got an early taste of some of the hills that were awaiting us along the course.

We hit the continental breakfast at our hotel that morning and went over some of the last minute details.


After a quick shower (also our last real shower for close to 48 hours), we loaded up and headed to the start to check in.


Teams started as early as 6 a.m. on Friday and we were the last team to start at 1:45 p.m. There were 121 teams total. Each team member submits their most recent 10K time and each team is assigned a different start time based on their estimated finish time, with the goal being that everyone would arrive at the finish line at close to the same time.

We were able to watch the last group that started at noon. There were three teams in this wave. We had almost two hours to wait until it was our turn to start, so we headed to the grocery store to stock up on snacks and decorated our vans (and ourselves).

Coconut bras for the boys …


Or makeshift Beats By Dre for DJ Holley …


Grass skirts, leis and hair flowers for the girls …


The whole gang!



We started at 1:45 p.m. (EST) Friday afternoon. Ashley was our first runner.


She actually crossed back into the Central Time Zone during her leg, so she finished earlier than she started! Fastest leg ever.

Once the race starts, the team is separated into two vans. Each van has three girls and three guys. Van 1 follows and supports their runners, while Van 2 goes ahead to the next exchange to wait on Van 1 to get there and then you switch, so Van 2 follows and supports their runners, while Van 1 goes ahead to the next exchange.

Daniel was our second runner. He had a very hilly leg, but he ran great! He lost a bet to Ali (our third runner) during March Madness this year and his “punishment” was that he had to run in British flag shorts during the relay. Shortest shorts ever.


Daniel handed off to Ali (our team Brit). If Ali had lost the bet, he was going to have to run in a Lady Liberty costume. I think we need to come up with another bet, because that would be an awesome sight to see!

Our first few legs were right along the Tennessee River and it was beautiful! The river was so pretty.


I started on my first leg at close to 3 p.m. Friday afternoon (read: HOT). My first leg was my toughest leg. It was 10.20 miles with close to 1,100 ft. of elevation gain. I don’t particularly enjoy running on hills, so I knew this one was going to be a bit of a struggle mentally.

At this point in the race, we were running completely by ourselves. We hadn’t started to catch any teams yet and so this was essentially a solo run on the side of a fairly busy, hilly highway. I decided to carry my phone just in case I need to call in an SOS and also so I could play some tunes.


I ended up with a 7:13 average, which I was pretty happy with. Our team “goal” was sub-7 minute pace, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold that for my legs (23 hilly miles doesn’t translate into sub-7). Fortunately we had several runners that easily went way under 7 minute pace on their legs (some even sub-6!) so it all evened out.

I handed off to Jessica. She crushed her first leg (all of them actually) and before we knew it she was handing off to D. Holley (aka DJ Holley, Young Daniel and many more). Their handoff was on a busy road, so instead of passing the bracelet, they did a “virtual” handoff. Jessica did the “Dab” and D. Holley was on his way.


After Young Daniel’s leg, it was time for Van 2 to do their thing! This meant that Van 1 had a little bit of downtime. We stayed around and cheered on a few of the Van 2 runners and found a nice little field and playground to hang out in for a while.


You know you are only 1 leg in if you still have enough energy to swing!


Eventually we decided it was time to head to the next major exchange where we would take back over from Van 2. This is where things got a little bit hairy. We ended up at the wrong location! By the time we realized it, we didn’t have time to get to them in time for our first runner to start. Van 2 stepped up and Becca volunteered to run another leg. She and Ashley basically swapped their remaining legs and everyone still ran 3 legs. It just didn’t go exactly as planned.

That’s one thing with relays … it is inevitable that something will go wrong. You have to be flexible and just roll with it. It’s like life, you can plan and plan and plan some more, but things don’t always go as planned and you have to accept those things and deal with what you’re given.

It was almost like this one (pretty big) mishap set off a chain of mishaps. We got back on “schedule” with our runners and it was Daniel’s turn to run. At this point it was close to 9 p.m. so it was really dark out. About a half of a mile into his second leg, he lost a contact. Now to some of you that might not sound like a big deal, but Daniel has really bad vision (like really, really bad) and this made things very tricky!

He dealt with the hand he was given and he still ended up running 6:22 pace for that leg! He handed off to Ali and the mishaps kept on coming. Ali took off and was on the right course until another team’s van told him that he was running the wrong way. He thought he was right, but he decided to turn since they told him to.

I would’ve done the same thing too. It’s dark out there and you don’t want to be lost! After we didn’t pass him in the van, we realized what happened and thankfully he was running with his phone so we were able to call him and tell him, “Turn around! Turn around!” He was the best sport about it and he stayed in good spirits. He even managed to average 6:50 pace for 9 miles!


Ali handed off to me. Like I said earlier, I have done these things before and so I knew what to expect for the nighttime leg. I honestly wasn’t even worried about it at all. As it turns out, my leg ran down the darkest, windiest, scariest back country TN road EVER (perhaps I am being a tad dramatic, but you get the point). I was terrified! About a mile into my leg the van passed me and I told them (very emphatically), “DO NOT LEAVE ME!”

They stayed really close to me the rest of the way and I was fine, but I was definitely a little rattled after that. I wasn’t expecting to be scared, so I was a little bit frustrated with myself, thinking that I had “regressed.” Looking back now, I realize that it is okay (and perfectly normal) to be scared, anxious, etc. and as long as I am listening to and recognizing those feelings, I am doing whatever is needed to take care of myself and that is the most important thing! I was thankful to have Daniel there to make sure I was safe.

I ended up averaging 7:19 for that leg, which was slower than I was hoping for, but again, I made it through safe and secure and that’s all that really matters!

I handed off to Jessica. She and Young Daniel finished up Van 1’s second legs and then we were able to head to our mid-way hotel at this point. I highly recommend having somewhere to stop during the race if you ever do one of these things. We were only there for about an hour and a half, but we were able to rinse off and lay down for a few precious minutes of rest. It made a huge difference!

After a little bit of rest, we piled back into the van and headed out to meet Van 2 for our last leg! Woo hoo! We were so ready to run that last leg and be done. I think it was about 3 a.m. or so at this point (time starts to really have no meaning whatsoever). Becca took off and Van 2 headed to the hotel to get some rest.

Before I knew it, it was time for my last leg! The sun wasn’t quite up (I said lots of prayers that it would be), but it was on the rise. Thank you Lord! I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel going on the third leg. I was already 16.30 miles in and I had 6.80 miles to do. The third leg can definitely be all about survival. I started running and much to my surprise, my legs felt really good! We were starting to catch a ton of teams and that got me even more pumped up.

The third leg was my fastest average!

As we each finished up our last leg, our spirits got higher and higher. By the time Jessica ran her last leg, we were having mini-dance parties on the side of the road to cheer for her as she went by!

Our spirits got even higher when we found a Dunkin Donuts along Young Daniel’s last leg. Coffee was all we really needed. We met back up with Van 2 at the last exchange and found out that there were only 3 teams left to catch. Even though they had started 3 or 4 hours in front of us, we still wanted to catch all of those teams and really seal the win.

Van 2 was on fire and they reeled in those last 3 teams over the course of their last legs. Kenny was our last runner and he passed the last team about 1 mile into his last leg! He came blazing into the finish area and we were all planning to run it in with him. He was running so fast that we couldn’t even keep up!

Team Flip Flops in Porta Johns and Other Bad Decisions for the win!


After the race was over it was time to celebrate and REST! We had an awesome house in Nashville that was on the river. There was a pool, hot tub, ping pong table, air hockey table, dart board, kayaks, etc. It was incredible!

We had a great time hanging out at the house after the race and talking about everything that happened along the way! It’s so much fun to get everyone back together after being separated into two vans during the race. We had plenty to talk and laugh about!

There was a swan in the pool at the house and we got a lot of mileage out of that thing! Ride the Swan might have been the most used phase over the course of the entire trip! Ha.


I went to bed pretty early. It was maybe 5 p.m., but felt like midnight. My internal clock was so off. I did, however, recognize the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion. I slept so well that night!

I woke up refreshed and ready to Sunday morning. A few of us went for a short run to work out some of the soreness Sunday morning and came back to find breakfast waiting for us!

Thanks Momma Becca and Jessica.

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We spent the day exploring Nashville! We had lunch at a really good local barbecue restaurant, Edley’s. Daniel has a few friends from a camp that he worked at in college that live in Nashville. They met up with us and were wonderful tour guides. We felt like locals.


Until you have experienced an overnight relay, I don’t know if you can truly understand how much fun and what an awesome experience it is. This was the best relay that I have ever been on! Our team was incredible (fast and just in general). There is so much effort that goes into getting the thing planned and that just makes it all the more exciting. Everyone on our team ran their hearts out and ran better than we expected, which was so cool to see. We were truly a team. Friendships were formed, strengthened and tested. Everyone was so supportive of each other and we built a wonderful camaraderie.

I can’t wait until the next one!

Tell me … what is your fondest racing experience? This one is ranking pretty high on my list right now!

Ready to RUN (Ragnar TN)!

Hey guys! We are leaving tomorrow for the Ragnar Relay in Tennessee! I am getting so excited. We have been planning this trip for a while and for a while it felt like it was so far away, but now all of a sudden … it’s here!

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The packing is fully underway and I figured that it would be a good idea to share some overnight relay packing tips in case you ever get the urge to do one of these crazy things and you are wondering what to pack.

Let’s start with the 411. Remember when that was a cool thing to say? Yeah … me too.

Who? 12 runners and friends (6 guys and 6 girls) who are about to embark on a crazy journey. Our team name is “Flip Flops in Porta Johns and Other Bad Decisions.” Um, yeah. I’m thinking the bad decision was letting the guys choose the team name.

What? This journey is called Ragnar. It is an overnight relay race. We will be split up into two vans (3 guys and 3 girls in each van).

Where? We will run from Chattanooga, TN to Nashville, TN (189.10 miles). Each runner runs three separate legs of varying distances. I am runner #4.


When? The race starts Friday May 13th (hopefully no one is superstitious) and we will finish Saturday May 14th sometime around noon.

Why? A better question would really be, “Why Not?” There will likely be moments of uncertainty, doubt and fear, but there will undoubtedly be more moments of joy, laughter and team bonding. We are going to embrace the moments, soak it all in and have a blast!

So now that you have a better idea of what we are heading to do, let’s discuss some packing essentials. One thing to note is that organization is key. Things tend to get a little bit hectic and crazy during the actual race, so if you are prepared going into it, that can at least help to minimize some of the unnecessary stress.

Clothes –


  • 1 – 2 pairs of running shoes (depending on how much your feet sweat)
  • 3 running outfits (shorts, tanks, socks, sports bra, etc.) preferably in individualized plastic baggies. Our team decided to coordinate our outfits, which I am pretty excited about. We haven’t done that in the past, but I think it will definitely add to the team feel.


  • 1 pair of flip flops or comfortable shoes to wear in between legs
  • Compression gear of your choice (socks, sleeves, tights, shorts, etc.) to promote recovery in between legs
  • 2 comfortable outfits (sweatpants, pajamas, lounge wear, etc.) to wear in between legs
  • Light jacket or long-sleeved shirt in case it is cool at night
  • Costumes (optional, but encouraged :)). We are going with a luau theme. The boys picked the team name, so the girls picked the decor (and yes, I got coconut bras for the boys to wear)!


Accessories –


  • GPS watch
  • Hat or visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Reflective vest (every runner is required to have a safety vest at check in)
  • Headlamp, tail light and flashlight (these are also required)
  • Running belt (if you plan to run with your phone or carry anything with you)
  • Self defense item

Miscellaneous –

  • Car charger for phone, watch and any other electronics
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby wipes (3 runs and no shower for 24 hours is definitely calls for baby wipes)
  • Air freshener (see above)
  • Travel pillow and blanket
  • Towels
  • Toilet paper (in case of emergency)
  • Snacks
  • Portable massage roller

I think that pretty much covers it on the packing front! I have a few other random things to tell you about as well.

One being that I officially formed an LLC for my coaching business. I’m pretty excited to be a “small business owner.” I have some big dreams for this ‘lil gig and I hope that it works out.


My mom texted me this …


I was laughing so hard! She has discovered emojis now. Side note: anyone else think that thing resembles frozen yogurt?! For the longest time, that’s what I thought it was. Random, I know.

That’s all I’ve got today. Gotta finish up the packing!